EXCLUSIVE with Senior Nick Meister on season-ending injury

Good afternoon Bruin fans, Barry here for another mid-afternoon practice update. As the guys finish off their week strong on the courts with Coach Martin, I had a chance to sit down with Senior Nick Meister about season-ending hip injury this afternoon. Earlier this week, Nick underwent successful surgery to repair a micro-tear in his hip and will miss the remainder–and the team portion–of the 2011 season. Yesterday, the Bruins issued their official press release regarding Nick, including this quote from Coach:

“I’m extremely disappointed that Nick will not be able to play for us this year due to his injury,” said Martin, who is in his 18th season as head coach at UCLA. “We are definitely going to miss his leadership both on and off the court. Nobody has worked harder than Nick and his work ethic has been a great example to our entire team.”

Obviously, this is a huge blow to our team and as Coach said, this hurts us in so many ways. Nick has been one of our top players–if not our most consisent player on the court the last three years–and his loss will impact the team, no doubt. But as Coach alluded to, it will also impact the team off of it; Nick’s leadership cannot be replaced as his value to this team is unmeasurable. For me personally, it of course hurts and after reading the press release it has begun to sink in; Nick has become one of my best friends the last few years and selfishly, I’m saddened that I will not be able to cheer him on my senior season and be his manager. I have always admired Nick to the utmost degree as he is one of the most incredible individuals I have met at UCLA–tennis or no tennis. His dedication to the team has been unwavering and there has been no player who cares more about the team and this program than Nick. Even more, his dedication to himself to get better has been nothing short of amazing. He is truly a role model on the court as well as off the court. I truly cannot say enough great things on behalf of Nick not just as my teammate, but as a friend. Because of this, it has made it more difficult to see the genuine, humble, but most hard-worked and committed Bruin to have something like this derail him for a year. But, Nick being the eternal optimist and the amazing guy he is, he lifted ME up when we sat down earlier today and chatted about this season, the injury, and his future. We had a casual man-to-man chat and I’ll paraphrase a few of his responses:

Barry (Me): First, how are you feeling in terms of your hip and your spirits?
Nick: The hip feels good and I have no pain, which is really awesome. I’ll be on crutches for another week and then the countdown begins in four months I can be back on the court to my normal 4-hour-a-day-intense-training.

I asked Nick, “what about his spirits considering how devastating it must be…”

Nick: Actually, man, I feel good and it is exciting. My hip has always bothered me ever since I’ve been here and I don’t think people realize how much pain I actually have been–and played through–the last three years. The fact that I am going to play tennis now pain free is exciting! So yeah, I’m doing good, and looking forward to getting back to playing and in really good spirits.

Admittedly I was a bit surprised as Nick did not mumble one negative word–though I would not expect anything like that from Nick anyway. I agreed and said that this time next year, you will free great and Nick could only flash me a huge smile–priceless! Also in terms of Nick’s game, it will be very beneficial.

Nick: Yes, I mean, I’ll be playing pro tournaments (futures and challengers minus the prize money of course) all summer and fall, giving me more time to work on my game before my senior season. I have a chance to be better than ever playing pro tournaments with a healthy body, so this is great thing. And the team will of course be very, very strong, as well.

Anyway, as you can tell, despite the horrible news (and again, selfishly, I’m still sad to not see him play this year and for the team), Nick was exciting about his future tennis career and in great spirits. I am disappointed for him but also happy for him that he will now get a chance to finish out his career healthy and with style. I have no
doubt that he will be back in 2012 better than ever. As a team, as Coach said, we have no choice but to move on and hope someone takes this opportunity and steps up to the lead the team. And of course, Nick will still be active in every team meeting and always around us in support. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll make sure to grab an update this weekend or early next week.

GO BRUINS!!!


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One Comment on “EXCLUSIVE with Senior Nick Meister on season-ending injury”

  1. Emily W. Says:

    It’s a bummer that Nick (he’s such an amazing guy and one of my favorites to watch on the team!) will be missing out the 2011 season, but as long as he can play tennis without being in pain, it will be beneficial to him (and the team) in the long run 🙂


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